By Todd Bray, Riptide Correspondent
Caltrans' proposed highway widening known as the Calera Parkway Project between Rockaway and Vallemar is a little bit more complicated than just adding a third lane northbound and southbound.
The project, as currently proposed, would add a center meridian nearly three lanes wide by itself, and would require further infrastructure to allow the project to be built over what is now thin air: things like a small causeway built over wetlands and up to 30-foot-tall retaining walls along most of the project length, again to allow for the extra lanes and center meridian to be poured and leveled in what is now nothing, just thin air.
If, like me, you need a visual aid to understand just how wide all of this roadway construction would be, get out a piece of construction paper and do a little origami fold right down the center of the paper, folding it in half long ways. The folded piece of paper represents the current width of Highway 1. Now unfold the paper and that represents the width of the proposed project.
And if you want to take it a step further, go to a vantage point that allows you to see along the highway. Hold up your folded origami highway to match the current width. Then, keeping the paper in the same spot, simply unfold it to the width the highway would be after being widened. Shocking, isn't it? Shocking to see so clearly just what sort of gigantic impact the project would have if, through our inaction, we allow it to be built.